One of the most popular trucks for sale, a silver 2023 Ford F-150, is shown parked in the snow.

5 Best Half-Ton Trucks for Towing & Trailering

The search for a quality half-ton pickup can be difficult if you have specific tastes and needs, as there are so many different models, generations, trims, and configurations—so what’s best if you’ll be prioritizing towing and trailering? Half-ton trucks have great towing capabilities, but not all models can tow to their maximum capacity; for those looking at light-duty trucks for sale, let’s find out which modern half-ton models make the most of their capabilities. Here are the five best for towing and trailering…

#1) 2023 Ford F-150 3.5-Liter EcoBoost V6

When properly equipped, the Ford F-150 tops the list as the best of the best for half-ton towing. There are some caveats, however, as you need the truck configured with a particular powertrain to get the most out of its towing and trailering. If configured correctly—like with every vehicle on this list—you can maximize its capabilities.

Your best bet is to get your 2023 F-150 configured in a SuperCab with an eight-foot bed, rear-wheel drive, and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 powertrain, which makes 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque and can trailer up to 14,000 lbs. Note that this configuration limits your trim options to the XL or XLT. Another caveat you’ll see throughout this list is that you’ll need the Max Trailer Tow Package; this will give you all the necessary equipment to tow and trailer at the F-150’s maximum capabilities.

With the Max Trailer Tow Package comes a bevy of utility equipment and configurations, including a 3.55 electronic-locking rear axle, a seven-pin wiring harness with a seven- and four-pin connector, a 36-gallon fuel tank, a class IV trailer hitch receiver, an integrated trailer brake controller, an upgraded rear bumper, and the SYNC apps for Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Smart Trailer Tow Connector. These features combined will enable you to tow up to 14,000 lbs with the 2023 Ford F-150, making it the cream of the crop among gas-powered half-ton pickups.

#2) 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 6.2-Liter V8

The Chevy Silverado 1500 is almost always neck-to-neck with the Ford F-150 when it comes to functionality and capabilities—and despite what sales figures might lead you to believe, the F-150 doesn’t always get the leg up on the Silverado 1500 where it counts, as Chevy has managed to spearhead some technologies beyond what’s offered on the F-150, such as the comprehensive Super Cruise and the Multi-Flex tailgate. However, in terms of towing and trailering, the F-150 still has a noteworthy 600-lb lead over the Silverado 1500.

While newer Silverado 1500s may have more features and tech, the 2020 model nets you the best trailering figures. When you configure the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 with the 6.2-liter V8 (which makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque), you get some of the best towing and trailering capabilities in the half-ton segment, topping out at 13,400 lbs—which is 200 lbs more than what some newer model years might net you! Much like the Ford F-150, you must have your Silverado 1500 configured in a particular manner to get the most out of its trailering capabilities: the RST trim in four-wheel drive with a standard bed and Double Cab is your best bet.

You will likewise need the Max Trailering Package for the Silverado 1500, which comes with heavy-duty rear springs and shocks, an integrated trailer brake controller, a large radiator, a 220-amp alternator, a heavy-duty rear axle, a trailer hitch receiver, and a four-pin connector and seven-wire harness and connector. This package gives you all you’ll need to trailer efficiently with the 2020 Silverado 1500 and achieve its peak trailering capabilities. If buying used isn’t a big deal to you, gaining the extra 300 lbs of towing capacity over the 2023 Silverado 1500 might be worth it for some enthusiasts.

A red 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X is shown driving off-road.

#3) 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 3.0-Liter Duramax

This close relative of the Chevy Silverado 1500 is often victim to lazy illustration (“Isn’t that just a fancier Silverado?” some might say), but the GMC Sierra is a nameplate that has managed to separate itself more and more over the years from its Chevy brethren—and a lot of this is owed to the Sierra’s unique styling. However, bolder and bigger can sometimes work against a truck where gross vehicle weight is a major factor in its capabilities, and adding more or heavier materials can affect its total towing and trailering limit. The good thing is that the Sierra 1500 manages to hold its own quite well against the top of its segment.

Like the other trucks on this list, the Sierra 1500’s trailering ratings can vary wildly depending on your trim. Obviously, if you’re looking for trucks specifically for towing, you’ll avoid luxury and off-road trims and stick to the utility trims; in this case, the Double Cab with the standard bed, rear-wheel drive (with a 3.42 axle differential), and the 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel (which makes 305 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque) will get you the model’s best towing capabilities at 13,200 lbs.

As is the theme with this list, you will also need some extra equipment to reach that figure for the Sierra 1500; specifically—just like the Silverado 1500—you will need the Max Trailering Package, which comes with all of the same equipment you can get for the Silverado 1500. If you liked the style of GMC’s full-size truck but wanted similar tow ratings to Chevy’s flagship pickup, then the Sierra 1500 manages to come close enough.

#4) Fifth-Gen Ram 1500 5.7-Liter Hemi “Eagle” V8

Ram is an extremely popular auto brand: one of the most popular trucks on the market and a bestseller. It has garnered a huge following over the years thanks to its great looks, rugged functionality, and reliable utility. The heavy-duty Ram series competes well with some of the segment’s best specs, and the light-duty Ram 1500 is no slouch, either; in fact, it’s one of the best available for those interested in a light-duty truck geared toward towing and trailering.

The fifth-gen Ram 1500 (basically any 2019 model or newer) offers all of the latest generational benefits while retaining its top-end towing capacity—something that not every other truck on this list is capable of. You get all the newest updates but with a towing limit of 12,750 lbs. Of course, you’ll need to have your Ram properly configured to get the most out of its towing capacity: rear-wheel drive, Quad Cab, Tradesman trim, and the 5.7-liter HEMI “Eagle” V8 with eTorque, which makes 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. This mild hybrid powertrain gives you the performance you need to achieve the maximum trailering capacity that fifth-gen Ram 1500s have to offer.

You will need the Ram adequately equipped to get the most out of the trailering capacity, which means the Trailer Tow Group Package is a must-have. It includes a number of infotainment and utility apps for towing and trailering, such as reverse steering support, light check, and Ram Connect features. It also has a lot of the standard utilities, such as a brake controller, a tire pressure monitor for the trailer, trailer tow mirrors, and exterior mirrors with supplemental signals. Naturally, you also get a Class IV receiver hitch to attach a trailer.

A white 2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is shown driving through a forest trail.

#5) Third-Gen Toyota Tundra i-FORCE Turbo V6

Toyota has dominated the midsize trucking space for quite some time with its Tacoma, but Toyota wasn’t fine with settling for leftovers in the full-size segment. While they don’t compete as aggressively with larger trucks (leaving the heavy-duty segment to the big three, for the most part), Toyota has put considerable effort into making the third-gen Tundra a highly competitive full-size light-duty pickup. In fact, the Tundra has been critically acclaimed for its unique design and stellar utility.

The overhaul for the latest generation Tundra has seen it become a lot more competitive in more ways than one. The turbocharged i-FORCE powertrain, for starters, offers some great performance at 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the segment’s best available trucks for base model performance. This powertrain enables the Tundra to tow up to 12,000 lbs when properly equipped—and, yes, that again means a certain configuration.

The Tundra’s SR5 trim, in particular, is required with the Double Cab, the six-foot, five-inch bed, and rear-wheel drive; this will grant you a 12,000-lb towing and trailering limit. What’s interesting is that, unlike the other trucks on this list, you do not need a towing package to get the most use out of the Tundra’s towing capabilities; everything already comes equipped, which gives it a nice leg-up from the start! (The F-150 and Silverado 1500 should take note!)